Morikami Museum & Japanese Gardens

Morikami celebrates the connection between Japan and South Florida.  Little did I know that in the early 1900s, Japanese farmers arrived in southern Florida and formed an agricultural colony called Yamato, an ancient name for Japan. Most of those farmers returned to Japan but one of the remaining settlers George Sukeji Morikami donated his land to Palm Beach County as a park to preserve the memory of the Yamato Colony.

The garden consists of 16 acres of authentic Japanese gardens and art exhibits.  There is even an authentic tea house and don’t miss Hotei, their resident god of happiness.

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This remains the only museum dedicated to Japanese living culture and the gardens are among the finest outside of Japan. So let’s begin our walking tour:

As you exit the main building you are immediately in front of the Wisdom Ring (Chie no Wa) which is a replica of a 500 year old stone lantern, a symbol of Delray Beach’s  sister city in Japan.

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Wisdom Ring

Next up cross the Memorial Bridge marking the entrance to the gardens and symbolizing the link between Japan and Florida.

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Memorial Bridge

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Follow the path to the Shinden Garden which recreates the 9th – 12th century Heian Period that featured lakes and islands and emphasized informality always with an appreciation of nature and often meant to be viewed from the water.

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The “Ancient Gate” (Kodai-mon) was inspired by the large mansions of samurai leaders from 1600 – 1868. Walking through this area of the garden you pass through a Bamboo Grove and the lovely sound of the bamboo stalks knocking against each other as the breeze blows.  It was a lovely, musical sound and I am sorry I didn’t do a video for you to hear the clinking of the stalks.

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Ancient Gate
Morikami Bamboo Grove
Bamboo Grove

The Paradise Garden or Buddhist heaven was meant for casual exploration.

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Paradise Garden

I need one of these!  The Shishi Odoshi or “Deer Chaser” is a swinging bamboo arm that collects water and then strikes a rock basin below and startles the animals who shouldn’t be there!!!!! I am definitely creating one of these in my garden!

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Deer Chaser

The Karesansui, Late Rock Garden which means dry landscape consists of rocks not plants and features a bed of raked gravel.

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Continue on through the Modern Romantic Garden as inspired by the late 19th – 20th century gardens with its very naturalistic setting which leads you to the Contemplation Pavilion. No real view to speak of from here but every twist and turn of the path through this garden affords some incredible views.

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The South Gate is the exit from the historical gardens in contrast with the Ancient Gate.

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Yamato Island is the site of the original Morikami Museum and the island represents a modern garden emphasizing the relationship between interior and exterior spaces.  The Bonsai Collection of trees are housed here.  A unique collection of Bonsai for sure!

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The tour ends at the Morikami Falls a dramatic and powerful waterfall set among massive boulders signaling the end of your journey thru the garden or maybe you are ready to take another walk around so see what you might have missed the first time!!!

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These six gardens are inspired by the famous gardens of Japan and encourage you to find peace in the environment and within one’s self. So if even just for a little while leave the outside world behind and just be one with nature.  Visit a garden today!!!

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Urban Graffiti Art in Miami, Florida

I was thrilled to visit the Wynwood Walls Art installation again this year while visiting my son in Miami.  Any lover of street art should make it a point to visit Wynwood!  This area of Miami is known for its colorful wall murals and is a very up and coming district that is renovating itself and morphing into a very happening space.

Iris

Wynwood Walls is an outdoor museum with large painted pop art by famous street artists.  The area has lots of fun restaurants, breweries and art galleries from converted warehouses. The theme of the new murals this year is “humanKIND.” The hope was this would inspire works of empathy and compassion.

Welcome Joe Iurato

If you have been following my Instagram or Facebook posts you have seen condensed versions of some of these walls.  I will show you here some of the full wall photos here.  Here is a link in case you missed my 2017 blog on Wynwood.

The late Tony Goldman was a renowned community revitalizer whose goal was to transform this warehouse district of Wynwood. These warehouse buildings all had no windows and therefore were ideal canvases for great street art.  It takes great forward thinkers to recreate and revitalize our ailing cities.  Thus Wynwood Walls became a major art statement with his commitment to graffiti and street art. He gathered some of the greatest street and pop artists from around the world to Miami and this project was born! From the beginning of this project there have been over 50 artists representing more than 16 countries!

Girl Power

In 2010 he added Wynwood Doors and Garden a lot adjacent to the Wynwood Walls area that was formerly a dump.  It just takes someone with vision to turn our cities into vital, thriving, healthy places to live! Now there are trees and smaller works to highlight the inner city street scene. Now the murals can even be seen spreading throughout the entire neighborhood. Here are some closeups on some of the talented artists:

CRASH: Known for his use of bright colors with comic-like characters.  His work is a combination of graffiti and Pop Art.

Crash

PETER TUNNEY: I could do a entire blog on this artist!  I am obsessed with his art! He probes our culture and reinterprets the images he finds in newspapers, magazines and art books into his own unique works and optimistic phrases and quotes on colorfully painted collages.

Peter Tunney

LOGAN HICKS: He details the urban landscape thru his intricate stenciled murals.  This is a nightscape  of New York City created from hundreds of photos taken of the city between one and four a.m. in the morning when the city is at it’s most peaceful.  This is a very large 40 by 7 foot wall and involved many stencils that needed to be cut in advance often being sent to him in Miami overnight from his studio in NYC.

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THE LONDON POLICE: The British art collective made up of founding members Chaz & Bob started in the street art scene in 1998. Their signature style is defined by the iconic characters with round heads, simple bodies and happy expressions.

London Police

CASE: Known for painting with spray cans this German born artist is known as a pioneer in photorealistic art in the graffiti scene.  He typically depicts people and body features particularly hands which he feels is a way to express words without using words.

Case

PICHI & AVO: This Spanish duo are known for perfectly melding classic art and contemporary urban art often featuring ancient gods creating a new genre of art.

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INTI: From Valparaiso Chile he began experimenting in street art when he was 13 years old.  His work often features his signature characters, folkloric in nature with almost human forms with distorted faces.

INTI

More images:

Paint drips

Still want to know more? Head over to www.wynwoodwalls.com

Wynwood Miami

Wynwood is a neighborhood in Miami, FL that recently has attracted a lot of attention and for good reason!   It has become a mecca for art, restaurants, bars, breweries and high end shopping.

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Rust Wynwood

This neighborhood dates back to 1917.  Happy 100th birthday this year! This was originally farmland developed by Miami’s first real estate agent EA Waddell before being sold to a couple of Miamians who were responsible for the modern day street names and numbers in downtown Miami and surrounding areas.  After the construction of Interstate 95 the neighborhood border was unofficially changed.  The western border of Wynwood is commonly considered I-95. It is roughly divided by North 20th Street to the South, I-95 to the North and I-95 to the West and the Florida East Coast Railroad to the East.

This was an area for working class families.  Eventually it attracted commercial business including Coca-Cola, an orange juice bottling plant and the American Bakeries Company. Then the garment industry moved in to the southern portion of Wynwood with both clothing retailers and manufacturers.  It is said that the Miami Fashion District was part of the largest garment district in the country according to an article in 1980 in the Miami News.  The fashion district is still a bustling community in Wynwood.  By the late 1970’s the area had gone into severe decline with drugs and unemployment playing premiere roles.

Art Installation at Wynwood Walls:

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In the middle 2000’s the area got a big boost when Goldman Properties took a keen interest in the area having been a force behind the revival of SoHo and South Beach.  They saw an opportunity for artsy neighborhoods.  Below Wynwood Block images:

Wynwood

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Wynwood Walls, an open air gallery opened in 2009. The entire neighborhood became a canvas for street art.  The area now boasts awesome restaurants, bars and retailers and there are plans to build condos, a hotel and many new retail establishments.  (see Slideshow below)

 

 

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It is worth the time if you are visiting Miami to venture over to Wynwood!  Located north of Downtown Miami and Overtown and adjacent to Edgewater, it is divided into two distinct areas: Wynwood Art District in northern Wynwood and Wynwood Fashion District along West 5th Avenue.

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I had the pleasure of visiting both districts!    I was amazed at the extraordinary talent of these artists at Wynwood Walls.  In one of the galleries there was an exhibit by an artist Peter Tunney.  I was blown away by his pieces. He is an Neo-Pop artist with a message; as you can see below.  He uses language and text and convey his message. His pieces are mixed collaged materials.

Don’t forget to look down at the street art!

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Of course don’t forget to make time for South Beach! But more on Miami another time.

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Lowes Hotel, South Beach

 

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South Beach
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Brickel City Centre, Brickel, Miami
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Don’t miss Miami at night- Spectacular!

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